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Old 03-07-2012, 12:55 AM   #51
Lee Salzman
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
Luckily O Sensei had a significant portion of his work recorded so not everyone can be fooled or limited by the status quo. To give due credit although not in their entirety, different parts of O Sensei's training have been passed down to different teachers. His contracted activations, part parcel to his size, concentrated energy mostly within himself ‘reflecting between heaven and earth.' Whereas his decontracted activations, the majority of his kata, concentrated energy through himself ‘from heaven to earth.' I'm much taller than O Sensei so I'm able to train contracted activations through rather than within. At the highest levels of energy, the ‘integrity' of heaven, man, and earth begin to disappear where the physical demands and the appearance of through and within can become indistinguishable. I know this probably doesn't make sense to anyone here but I find creating the description helpful if only for myself and my own ability to teach down the line in person.
What do you mean by contracted activation and decontracted activation? Please explain.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:24 AM   #52
Michael Hackett
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

You're right, it doesn't. Since you recognize your description "probably doesn't make sense to anyone here", how does that help you teach others? Maybe with the definitions that Lee requested it might.....

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:08 AM   #53
DH
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Oh good grief...reading this stuff is the same as reading John Stevens....unless you really know the subject....it's a total waste of time.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-07-2012 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:32 AM   #54
Marc Abrams
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

An exploration of where Tenyu is coming from might help people understand what he is trying to say. Best to review this thread.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19361

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:44 PM   #55
Michael Douglas
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
An exploration of where Tenyu is coming from might help people understand what he is trying to say. Best to review this thread.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19361
Marc, flippin' 'eck the first page alone was forum GOLD, now I've got the next ten pages to wade through ... Aargh.
Thanks, I mean. :| <-- hey look, two of my favourite smileys.

My vocabulary has increased by the addition of "Asymptotic", despite never using such a word throughout A-level and 1st-year degree mathematics.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #56
ChrisMoses
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

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Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
Marc, flippin' 'eck the first page alone was forum GOLD, now I've got the next ten pages to wade through ... Aargh.
Thanks, I mean. :| <-- hey look, two of my favourite smileys.

My vocabulary has increased by the addition of "Asymptotic", despite never using such a word throughout A-level and 1st-year degree mathematics.
Yeah, I somehow managed to miss that one too. Gets a big WTF? and LOL from me as well.

Although having done some "Aikibojutsu" with Tom Read, his use of the terms isn't surprising.

Chris Moses
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #57
Howard Popkin
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Chris,

Being a kind,soft spoken person, I really would appreciate you offering constructive criticism, instead of ...WTF ??

So here goes -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJkSI...2r0mTAxsfwK3-b

Watch 0:39 -

If he was using internal power, there would be no need for tension in his face, clenching teeth, etc... Could be because the level 10 resonator causes such vibration in the sine wave of his tongue that he must clench.......

But since I am not an Aikibodoka, I wouldn't know from such things.

I have been called an Aiki bozo though, by you, if I'm not mistaken

Howard Popkin
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #58
ChrisMoses
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

@Howard: LOL.

I never go over about a 7.5 resonator myself, I'm worried about what I would unleash if I did...

Chris Moses
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #59
Marc Abrams
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

When I use my internal power and resonate to level 10, female moose gather, my wife leaves the room for at least one hour and the temperature of the planet rises 1/10th of one degree ....

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #60
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

So stepping back from my off-topic/snarkiness for a moment, I really do appreciate this thread for what it brings up.

On one level, I'm stunned by the choices that Stevens made in his translation, but it also makes me hunger for what other information was simply glossed over or omitted by 'translators' in other texts I've read. We put so much importance on the printed word and for many of us, these texts have been carefully studied and revisited as we've developed in our arts. As a reader of a translation, we enter into a trust relationship with that translator to be the accurate voice of the original speaker/author. Personally, examples like this not only make me feel frustrated, but betrayed in a way.

Thanks Chris for bringing this one up, it's a great reminder about how we have to approach our research.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #61
Michael Douglas
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

*sniff*
This was the last line of that whole (Sixteen pages!) thread ;
Quote:
Tim Jester wrote: View Post
... so forgive me if this was all a joke.
Poignant.

(Sorry for the derail Jun)
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #62
Michael Hackett
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

@Howard. I thought you were joking until the clip opened with the title. He couldn't possibly do that with a bokken or shinken because it would create too much lift and he would find himself in the middle of Humboldt Bay.

Michael
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #63
Howard Popkin
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Yeah, well....with all his years of experience, maybe he knows something that the rest of us don't.

Howard Popkin
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:24 PM   #64
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
So stepping back from my off-topic/snarkiness for a moment, I really do appreciate this thread for what it brings up.

On one level, I'm stunned by the choices that Stevens made in his translation, but it also makes me hunger for what other information was simply glossed over or omitted by 'translators' in other texts I've read. We put so much importance on the printed word and for many of us, these texts have been carefully studied and revisited as we've developed in our arts. As a reader of a translation, we enter into a trust relationship with that translator to be the accurate voice of the original speaker/author. Personally, examples like this not only make me feel frustrated, but betrayed in a way.

Thanks Chris for bringing this one up, it's a great reminder about how we have to approach our research.
Thanks! I'm glad that not everybody hates me.

Translations are always going to be filtered through the translator, so it's always going to be kind of tricky. I could be worse, you could be dealing with something like this.

There will be more to come, if I ever get the time...

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-07-2012, 06:16 PM   #65
gregstec
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
When I use my internal power and resonate to level 10, female moose gather, my wife leaves the room for at least one hour and the temperature of the planet rises 1/10th of one degree ....

Marc Abrams
Yeah, but I bet your dog stays close

Greg
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:44 PM   #66
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
So stepping back from my off-topic/snarkiness for a moment, I really do appreciate this thread for what it brings up.

On one level, I'm stunned by the choices that Stevens made in his translation, but it also makes me hunger for what other information was simply glossed over or omitted by 'translators' in other texts I've read. We put so much importance on the printed word and for many of us, these texts have been carefully studied and revisited as we've developed in our arts. As a reader of a translation, we enter into a trust relationship with that translator to be the accurate voice of the original speaker/author. Personally, examples like this not only make me feel frustrated, but betrayed in a way.

Thanks Chris for bringing this one up, it's a great reminder about how we have to approach our research.
Hello Christian (I am calling you Christian to distinguish you from Christopher),

I was trained in the Greek and Latin Classics, which involved making many translations. At Harvard I recall two exercises: translating Cicero into Greek and translating the Gettysburg Address into the kind of Greek that Pericles would have used. (As it so happens, Lincoln's speech was based on classical Greek and Latin rhetorical models.) If you think of a spectrum with classical Japanese at one end and the kind of Japanese written by my university colleagues at the other, it is quite hard to know where to put Morihei Ueshiba.

I have just finished translating a piece for one of the departments at Hiroshima University. Apart from the choices involved in choosing the vocabulary and structure, I suppose I had the general aim of keeping to the original as closely as possible. However, it was a policy statement, with the usual Japanese rhetorical structure, and a similar policy statement written by a native English speaker would have been structured quite differently. The statement was aimed at overseas students, but not native English speakers. So I have actually prepared three versions: a fairly free version that is aimed at clarity for non-native English speakers; a translation as close as possible to the Japanese original, but which is harder to understand; and an annotated version (not for publication, but for university colleagues who can read English well), which discusses the choices I made.

Have you read George Steiner's After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation? It was written a long time ago, in 1975, but the version I have gives a list of books and articles written on the theory and practice of translation. It is nearly 20 pages long and goes up only to 1997. I know that much more has been written in the 20 years since then.

So I have some sympathy for John Stevens.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 03-07-2012 at 07:47 PM.

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Old 03-07-2012, 08:34 PM   #67
Tenyu
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

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What do you mean by contracted activation and decontracted activation? Please explain.
I've explained on an introductory level what contracted activation is and looks like, it's easily found using the forum's search function. Decontracted activation differs in that the connection with the infinite doesn't manifest vibration. Most of O Sensei's weapons and classical taijitsu were and are done in this manner, as the energy required is much lower. Our culture generally ridicules the Infinite and I expect no less in response to this post, irrespective of the overall tone of the forum which really is inevitable, of course it's had no choice in order to preserve our fundamental reality-negating myths.

Many people I know, including powerful martial artists, have told me their experiences with a traditional South American shaman were literally the hardest and most painful thing they've ever gone through. Shamans are well versed in holding space ‘within' the Infinite and when one is resistant, either partially or fully, either consciously or unconsciously, primarily to the intimacy, immediacy, and totality of the Infinite, of Reality, nothing short of absolute torture results. That this is common for beginners and advanced martial artists, shows just how disconnected we are from Reality. Aikido training, as O Sensei practiced, can provide the same doors but I'm under no illusion many Aikidoists would be better off beginning the healing process with the help of a traditional shaman(unfortunately their medicine is only legal in other countries) or equivalent experience. The painful irony being the majority have no idea, at least consciously, they even need healing as insanity, albeit ‘functional,' is rewarded and considered healthy in our society.

related excerpt ::::

Paradoxically, the same principles of mechanism, reductionism, and determinism that promise certainty and control also afflict us with feelings of powerlessness and bewilderment. For when we include ourselves among the Newtonian masses of the universe, then we too are at the mercy of blind, impersonal forces that wholly determine our life's trajectory. In the ideology we inherited from the Scientific Revolution, free will, like all the other secondary qualities, is a mere construct, a statistical approximation, but not fundamentally real.

To recover meaning, sacredness, or free will apparently requires dualism, a separation of self out from the deterministic laws of the universe—an ultimately incoherent solution which alienates us all the more. Yet the alternative is even worse: nihilism, the Existentialist void—philosophies which, not accidentally, emerged at the peak of the Newtonian World-machine's reign in the early 20th century. This worldview so deeply imbues our intuitions and logic that we can barely conceive of a self that is neither dualistically distinct from matter, nor a deterministic automaton whose attributes of mind or soul are mere epiphenomena. Prior to the 20th century, these were the only alternatives science presented us, a bleak choice that remains with us today like a burr in the shoe and will continue to generate existential unease until the day comes when we finally digest the ramifications of 20th century science.

This choice reflects an apparent incompatibility of science and religion. Intuitively rejecting the "deterministic automaton" of science, evangelical friends of mine choose instead to disbelieve vast swaths of science—all the physics, biology, archeology, paleontology, geology, and astronomy that conflicts with the Biblical story of creation. Meanwhile, scientifically-oriented people occupy the equally unenviable position of denying their intuitions of a purpose, significance, and destiny to life. I often detect a wistfulness in self-described atheists, as if they wished there were soul, God, purpose and significance—Wouldn't it be nice!—but that unfortunately, sober reason dictates otherwise. Sometimes they cover up this wistfulness or sense of loss with an aggressive display of self-righteousness along the lines of "I can handle the merciless truth, but you need to comfort yourself with fairy stories." Others are aggressively cynical and reflexively derisive. The emotions, anger and sadness, that underly these responses arise from the monstrous robbery I describe above. Again, this robbery is not the removal of God from Heaven—it is the removal of divinity from the world. Whether God has been removed to Heaven, as by religion, or extirpated altogether, as by science, matters little.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:45 AM   #68
Lee Salzman
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
I've explained on an introductory level what contracted activation is and looks like, it's easily found using the forum's search function. Decontracted activation differs in that the connection with the infinite doesn't manifest vibration. Most of O Sensei's weapons and classical taijitsu were and are done in this manner, as the energy required is much lower. Our culture generally ridicules the Infinite and I expect no less in response to this post, irrespective of the overall tone of the forum which really is inevitable, of course it's had no choice in order to preserve our fundamental reality-negating myths.

Many people I know, including powerful martial artists, have told me their experiences with a traditional South American shaman were literally the hardest and most painful thing they've ever gone through. Shamans are well versed in holding space ‘within' the Infinite and when one is resistant, either partially or fully, either consciously or unconsciously, primarily to the intimacy, immediacy, and totality of the Infinite, of Reality, nothing short of absolute torture results. That this is common for beginners and advanced martial artists, shows just how disconnected we are from Reality. Aikido training, as O Sensei practiced, can provide the same doors but I'm under no illusion many Aikidoists would be better off beginning the healing process with the help of a traditional shaman(unfortunately their medicine is only legal in other countries) or equivalent experience. The painful irony being the majority have no idea, at least consciously, they even need healing as insanity, albeit ‘functional,' is rewarded and considered healthy in our society.

related excerpt ::::

Paradoxically, the same principles of mechanism, reductionism, and determinism that promise certainty and control also afflict us with feelings of powerlessness and bewilderment. For when we include ourselves among the Newtonian masses of the universe, then we too are at the mercy of blind, impersonal forces that wholly determine our life's trajectory. In the ideology we inherited from the Scientific Revolution, free will, like all the other secondary qualities, is a mere construct, a statistical approximation, but not fundamentally real.

To recover meaning, sacredness, or free will apparently requires dualism, a separation of self out from the deterministic laws of the universe—an ultimately incoherent solution which alienates us all the more. Yet the alternative is even worse: nihilism, the Existentialist void—philosophies which, not accidentally, emerged at the peak of the Newtonian World-machine's reign in the early 20th century. This worldview so deeply imbues our intuitions and logic that we can barely conceive of a self that is neither dualistically distinct from matter, nor a deterministic automaton whose attributes of mind or soul are mere epiphenomena. Prior to the 20th century, these were the only alternatives science presented us, a bleak choice that remains with us today like a burr in the shoe and will continue to generate existential unease until the day comes when we finally digest the ramifications of 20th century science.

This choice reflects an apparent incompatibility of science and religion. Intuitively rejecting the "deterministic automaton" of science, evangelical friends of mine choose instead to disbelieve vast swaths of science—all the physics, biology, archeology, paleontology, geology, and astronomy that conflicts with the Biblical story of creation. Meanwhile, scientifically-oriented people occupy the equally unenviable position of denying their intuitions of a purpose, significance, and destiny to life. I often detect a wistfulness in self-described atheists, as if they wished there were soul, God, purpose and significance—Wouldn't it be nice!—but that unfortunately, sober reason dictates otherwise. Sometimes they cover up this wistfulness or sense of loss with an aggressive display of self-righteousness along the lines of "I can handle the merciless truth, but you need to comfort yourself with fairy stories." Others are aggressively cynical and reflexively derisive. The emotions, anger and sadness, that underly these responses arise from the monstrous robbery I describe above. Again, this robbery is not the removal of God from Heaven—it is the removal of divinity from the world. Whether God has been removed to Heaven, as by religion, or extirpated altogether, as by science, matters little.
So you as well neither believe that in the particular translation Chris Li points out of John Stevens, that Morihei Ueshiba meant to hold his stance with a 60 degree angle of the feet?
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:03 AM   #69
fred veer
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

I think the problem is not in translating, but in describing something that cannot be described verbally to start with. Why physicist and engineers need to resort to mathematics, because language is deficient fore their purposes. You could describe aikido anatomically, this muscle contracts at time x for period y and that muscle relaxes at time q for period w. This still would not explain what happens. Probably why O-sensei said that oral instruction, the teacher instructing the student one to one is necessary. Some things cannot be transmitted by words alone. Even this oral instruction is limited if the students body is not responsive in the same as the teachers.O-Sensei's unique body conditioning resulted on something which he could not verbalize. probably also why you have to watch closely and steal the techniques. You might have to develop a language to express the problem, as mathematics describes physics, before you can begin to translate.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:56 AM   #70
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

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Fred Veer wrote: View Post
I think the problem is not in translating, but in describing something that cannot be described verbally to start with. Why physicist and engineers need to resort to mathematics, because language is deficient fore their purposes. You could describe aikido anatomically, this muscle contracts at time x for period y and that muscle relaxes at time q for period w. This still would not explain what happens. Probably why O-sensei said that oral instruction, the teacher instructing the student one to one is necessary. Some things cannot be transmitted by words alone. Even this oral instruction is limited if the students body is not responsive in the same as the teachers.O-Sensei's unique body conditioning resulted on something which he could not verbalize. probably also why you have to watch closely and steal the techniques. You might have to develop a language to express the problem, as mathematics describes physics, before you can begin to translate.
Well, there is a language, at least 1,000 years old in Japan, and older than that in China, that was formulated specifically to describe and explain these ideas. Morihei Ueshiba used that language - the spirals and six directions are just one very basic example. More will be forthcoming.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-08-2012, 08:02 AM   #71
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

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Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
Many people I know, including powerful martial artists, have told me their experiences with a traditional South American shaman were literally the hardest and most painful thing they've ever gone through. .
care to name a few? of course the experiences were painful, because they would beat you with a big and ugly sticks and then laugh at you and threw a big bonfire party in your honor.

after the first few sentences, my eyes glazed over and scratching my head (head lice - out sourcing my thinking to the lice), and said to meself, "what in the god name was he talking about about...about??!!!" about.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:36 AM   #72
Marc Abrams
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

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care to name a few? of course the experiences were painful, because they would beat you with a big and ugly sticks and then laugh at you and threw a big bonfire party in your honor.

after the first few sentences, my eyes glazed over and scratching my head (head lice - out sourcing my thinking to the lice), and said to meself, "what in the god name was he talking about about...about??!!!" about.
Phi:

You clearly are not up to date on the very good harvest season in Humboldt County. That, taken together with Peak Oil flavored Kool Aid (unique flavor enhanced by exposure to the radiation released in Japan) helps one to understand the depths of all thoughts, intuitions, feelings and martial arts achievements.

Kind of brings me back to the smoke filled rooms of the 70's with all the amazing intellect being displayed, only to cease when Saturday Night Live began airing..........

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:22 AM   #73
Mark Freeman
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post

Many people I know, including powerful martial artists, have told me their experiences with a traditional South American shaman were literally the hardest and most painful thing they've ever gone through. Shamans are well versed in holding space ‘within' the Infinite and when one is resistant, either partially or fully, either consciously or unconsciously, primarily to the intimacy, immediacy, and totality of the Infinite, of Reality, nothing short of absolute torture results. That this is common for beginners and advanced martial artists, shows just how disconnected we are from Reality. Aikido training, as O Sensei practiced, can provide the same doors but I'm under no illusion many Aikidoists would be better off beginning the healing process with the help of a traditional shaman(unfortunately their medicine is only legal in other countries) or equivalent experience. The painful irony being the majority have no idea, at least consciously, they even need healing as insanity, albeit ‘functional,' is rewarded and considered healthy in our society.
The bolded sentence above is quite spectacular in it's ability to mean nothing to me. A bit like telling me that Priests are more connected to God than the rest of us.

I maybe one of the majority who are in need of healing without knowing that I need it, this ironically, I am painfully aware of Then again I might be completely sane and wonder what the poster is going on about.

In my unhealed view, I will quite happily avoid the Shaman/Witchdoctor remedies as I have seen some of the medicines they use (not in S America, admittedly, but in Africa and India).

Obviously, I will never understand Aikido

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Old 03-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #74
Lee Salzman
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, there is a language, at least 1,000 years old in Japan, and older than that in China, that was formulated specifically to describe and explain these ideas. Morihei Ueshiba used that language - the spirals and six directions are just one very basic example. More will be forthcoming.

Best,

Chris
The language by itself is only valuable so long as it points to concepts we can actually agree upon. And if we are agreed upon the concepts, then the language is not worth much, I would go so far as to say it is even worthless or less than worthless. This is especially problematic because terms like spirals or six directions can be very flowery and poetic, so you can attach way too many stupid and unproductive meanings to them that sound similar. So just giving people a new set of words to misinterpret seems sketchy.

I am not actually sure we accomplish much merely by pointing out that we mistranslated his verbiage. It's a start, but then you need to prove that when he said six directions he meant the certain concept you are thinking of, rather than, say, decontracted activations and some killer shamanic weed that made everything feel sooooo cosmic and totally made his ki tingle. That's the real task you face.

There's no shortage of people in the world talking about dantiens or yin-yangs or qi or yi or li or jin(g) or taiji or... And then you watch them move on video or such, and it can border on embarassing.

Or to put it one other way: what matters here is the specific training models and the results they produce, not what we call them, since it's all just made-up English labels for stuff anyway. May as well just call it fibewudgetmiklenok, so long as it labels a concrete physical experience that has already been adequately taught. So what are we trying to show? That M. Ueshiba used some set of words, or that he used a specific training model that we can actually dissect and use, especially when we seem so hesitant to really define that meaningful concrete training model?

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 03-08-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:07 PM   #75
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
The language by itself is only valuable so long as it points to concepts we can actually agree upon. And if we are agreed upon the concepts, then the language is not worth much, I would go so far as to say it is even worthless or less than worthless. This is especially problematic because terms like spirals or six directions can be very flowery and poetic, so you can attach way too many stupid and unproductive meanings to them that sound similar. So just giving people a new set of words to misinterpret seems sketchy.
I would say that most of the basic concepts are actually agreed upon and have been agreed upon for a long time - just not so much in the general Aikido community.

Even Morihei Ueshiba used and agreed with these basic concepts - as will become clear as we get further along.

My goal right now is mainly to point out the opening and broaden the conversation. There will be more detailed "how to do" publications forthcoming - not from me, but they're in the pipeline.

In the meantime I hope that this will spur people to re-examine some old assumptions and try to get some hands on time with one of the people who are putting these things into practice (Dan Harden, Mike Sigman, Minoru Akuzawa, Sam Chin - there are others, you get the idea).

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Li : 03-08-2012 at 12:10 PM.

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